Perfect Vegan Cornbread

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Slices of the best vegan cornbread

Everyone needs a good cornbread recipe to go with chili, soup, BBQ bean bowls, and black eyed peas. And this, friends, is it! Say hello to the BEST vegan cornbread!

Just 10 ingredients required for this easy, fluffy recipe. Let us show you how it’s done!

Cornmeal, flour, ground flax, lemon, almond milk, vegan butter, applesauce, salt, baking soda, and sugar

Origins of Cornbread

Cornbread is a hotly debated topic and we don’t claim to be experts on its origin! But based on our research, it seems that the concept may have originated from a Native American dish called cornpone that was made with simple ingredients like cornmeal, water, and salt (source).

During the colonial era, cornmeal was an important ingredient and source of sustenance for enslaved individuals. It likely grew in popularity during these times and recipes evolved based on personal preferences and ingredient availability. It’s now popular throughout the US but is especially associated with Southern cuisine.

The following is our plant-based version, which resembles the flavors we grew up with and loved.

Mixing the ingredients for our vegan cornbread recipe

How to Make Vegan Cornbread

The base for this recipe is a mixture of fine cornmeal and all-purpose flour. We prefer using fine cornmeal over medium grind for best texture, but either will work.

For a “buttermilk” effect, we combined almond milk and lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar). And in place of eggs, we opted for our trusty flax eggs for binding and a nutrition boost.

Cane sugar and applesauce are both used for sweetness. While cane sugar helps achieve a crumbly texture, applesauce adds moisture and natural sweetness.

Baking soda provides leavening and sea salt adds extra flavor.

Vegan cornbread batter

We hope you LOVE this vegan cornbread! It’s:

Fluffy
Moist
Comforting
Perfectly sweet
Versatile
& The BEST!

It’s perfect for serving alongside chili, soup, BBQ bean bowls, and black eyed peas or enjoying as a delicious snack! It also works well when made into stuffing or croutons.

Baking dish of perfect vegan cornbread

More Cornbread Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Slices of vegan cornbread

Perfect Vegan Cornbread

Easy-to-make, fluffy, perfectly sweet vegan cornbread made with 10 ingredients. The perfect comforting side to soups and chilis, or to bake into croutons for salads or stuffing.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Slice of the best vegan cornbread with a bite taken out
4.85 from 139 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 9 (slices)
Course Side
Cuisine Native American-Inspired, Southern-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 2 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ batches flax egg (1 ½ Tbsp (11 g) flaxseed meal + 4 Tbsp (60 ml) water as original recipe is written)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (plus 1 Tbsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter, melted (we like Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar or granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cups fine yellow cornmeal (plus 1 Tbsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size)
  • 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus 1 Tbsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and grease an 8×8-inch baking dish (adjust number/size of baking dish if altering batch size).
  • Prepare flax egg in a small bowl and let set for a few minutes to achieve an "eggy" texture. Measure out almond milk, add lemon juice, and let curdle for a few minutes. Then add baking soda and stir once more. Set aside.
  • To a large mixing bowl, add melted butter and sugar and whisk vigorously to combine. Then add applesauce and flax egg, and whisk once more. Next add almond milk mixture and whisk vigorously again to combine.
  • Add salt, cornmeal, and flour and stir with a spoon until just incorporated. It will look thin and somewhat lumpy. That's what you're going for.
  • Add batter to prepared dish(es) and bake for 28-37 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  • Let rest in the baking dish for a few minutes before serving. I highly recommend serving these with just a touch of non-dairy butter and maple syrup or honey if not vegan.
  • Will keep in an airtight container for up to a couple days. Store in the freezer to keep longer. It would be excellent with our 1-Pot Red Lentil Chili or Easy Instant Pot Chili (Vegan, Oil-Free).

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without additional toppings.
*Note: You can learn more about the origins of cornbread here.
*Recipe heavily adapted/expanded from my Vegan Cornbread for 2.

Nutrition (1 of 9 servings)

Serving: 1 slice Calories: 200 Carbohydrates: 30.6 g Protein: 2.6 g Fat: 7.9 g Saturated Fat: 4.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 246 mg Fiber: 1.6 g Sugar: 11.6 g

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My Rating:




  1. Rob says

    It turned out pretty stodgy & dense. We could taste the rising agent, yet it barely rose at all. I think this recipe needs much less liquid. It was over-sweet, as well — kind of dessert-level sweetness. Moreover, too many steps/ingredients that don’t seem to matter. A little over-engineered for a simple cornbread. We ended up using Nora Cooks ‘the Best Vegan Cornbread’ which is far simpler and results in more of a classic cornbread taste & texture.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Grace, it will depend which gluten-free blend you’re using as some are more absorbent than others. For our DIY blend, we’d recommend using a little more until the texture of the batter resembles the photos. For our NEW GF blend, we think it would work well to sub 1-1. We also have a vegan + gluten-free cornbread recipe here. Hope that helps!

  2. Gina says

    Hi Dana,
    Can I use Masa Harina in place of cornmeal? I don’t have enough cornmeal to make the double batch needed for your cornbread stuffing recipe? Btw. We love your cornbread stuffing. Pecans and leeks so yummy.
    Thanks,
    Gina

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy the stuffing, Gina! We haven’t tested this recipe with masa harina and aren’t sure it would work. It would likely have a stronger corn flavor. We’d suggest starting with less and maybe subbing more all-purpose flour until the texture resembles the photos. Hope that helps!

  3. Sarah says

    I did make some substitutions but overall followed it and it was divine! I haven’t made cornbread for awhile and I’m so glad this was the recipe I ultimately chose to follow. Thank you!